Posted by Alfred on Monday, August 31, 2009 at 5:59am.
(A) Identify how the gravitational potential energy changes as a shuttle takes off from the launch pad.
(b) Explain the consequences to the space craft and its occupants if the shuttle is undergoing reentry, and the angle of reentry is significantly greater (steeper) than optimal.

Physics  Damon, Monday, August 31, 2009 at 8:50am
Increases
at first use mgh but as radius gets to be order of magnitude of earth radius you have to integrate using
F = integral of Gravitational constant*mshuttle*mearth/r^2 dr
which is constant * (1/rearth1/rshuttleaboveearth)
If angle is steep, force of gravity becomes much bigger that mass times centripetal acceleration becuase V tangential is too small and body accelertates downward too fast.
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